A SOUTH-WEST school camp venue has warned the threatened cancellation of many school excursions during the forthcoming school term will have a huge impact on small regional towns.
Matthew Bowker from the Kangaroobie camp at Princetown said if venues lost three to four camps during the next school term they would not survive.
Mr Bowker said the camp venues would struggle to pay food and other service providers if they lost a handful of big bookings.
The camps are under threat because Victorian teachers and support staff have decided not to work beyond 38 hours a week as part of an industrial campaign for higher pay and better conditions.
Mr Bowker said he had lobbied both Australian Education Union president Meredith Peace and State Higher Education Minister Peter Hall, alerting them to the potential impact of the dispute on small towns.
He feared at least one forthcoming camp at Kangaroobie involving 190 Melbourne students was in danger of being cancelled.
Its cancellation would deny Kangaroobie about $45,000 in income, he said.
A spokeswoman for another south-west camp venue, Camp Cooriemungle near Timboon, said any cancellations would have a big impact on the camp’s income during the first school term.
Camp Cooriemungle co-owner Charlene Payne said the teachers’ action had prompted some schools not to stay overnight at the adventure camp.
She said many primary schools had also postponed their excursions and many year 7 camps shifted from the first term to a tentative booking in the second term, when it was hoped the ban on overtime would have ended.
Ms Payne said the impact would be most significant in the first term of 2013, which was traditionally the busiest time of the year for school camps.
A spokesman for another south-west school camp venue, the Moyne Shire-owned Southcombe Lodge at Port Fairy, said there had been no cancellations so far of school camps.
He said he expected to know of any camp cancellations a few weeks after school resumed.